It's hard (and scary) to imagine where the Patriots would be without Tom Brady. Less than five months after becoming the starting QB, he was MVP of the franchise's first Super Bowl win. Since then, he's gotten the Pats to four more Super Bowls, winning two, and rewritten the NFL record book.
Bird was the face of the franchise during the Celtics' revival in the 1980s, when the C's made the NBA Finals five times, winning three titles. Larry Legend won three straight league MVP awards and was first-team All-NBA nine times. He was forced to retire at 36 with back woes.